McCain: Should Be 'No Daylight' Between US, Israel

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Public tensions are high between the U.S. and Israel over how to deal with Iran's push to obtain a nuclear weapon, visiting U.S. senators admitted while in Jerusalem.

"There should be no daylight between America and Israel in our assessment of the threat. Unfortunately, there clearly is some," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said at a press conference Tuesday evening.

McCain is leading a delegation of five senators traveling in the Middle East. Following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, they spoke with journalists about the situation with Iran.

McCain countered recent U.S. statements that the Islamic Republic hadn't decided on a bomb yet.

"Whether they have actually made a decision or not, they are on the path by assembling all the necessary components for a nuclear weapon, which is something that is unacceptable," he reasoned.

McCain said they strongly support efforts to increase pressure on Iran, including sanctions. But he noted there are tensions between Israel and the U.S. on how to deal with the situation.

"We are of the belief that there's very little doubt that Iran has so far been undeterred from the path of acquiring a nuclear weapon," McCain said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., noted Israel has received a lot of advice from Americans recently against a military strike on Iran.

"I just want to tell our Israeli friends my advice to you is never lose control of your destiny. Never allow a situation to develop that would destroy the Jewish state," Graham said.

The senators arrived in Israel from Egypt. There they met with the army and members of the Muslim Brotherhood over the fate of American aid workers accused of backing anti-government protests and creating unrest in Egypt.

"We remain guardedly optimistic that this issue can be resolved between ourselves and the Egyptian government," McCain said.

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Julie Stahl

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